Pennington a Ford Scholar

Members of the Texas FFA Association’s Ford Leadership Scholars Program are beginning their community service projects and apprentices for the school year, including Jacie Pennington of the Bryson chapter.

Through the Texas FFA Foundation and Texas FFA Association’s partnership with Ford Motor Company and Texas Ford Dealers, outstanding juniors heading into their senior year are chosen for the handson leadership program.

“The number of students invested in implementing change through the Ford Leadership Scholar program never fails to impress,” said Jennifer Jackson, Texas FFA Association executive director. “While only 10 students are selected to serve as leaders, all of those who apply all play an important role in shaping a successful future for their communities.”

Pennington applied for the leadership program to build strong relationships and leave a lasting impact on the Bryson community. Service is vital to the FFA as is reflected in the last line of the organization’s motto, “Living to Serve”.

Pennington believes that through service, students are able to add a layer of love to the work they do in the FFA. To be honored as a Ford Leadership Scholar is a true feat.

More than 50 Texas FFA members apply annually and are put through a rigorous interview process to pinpoint students who truly embody the FFA’s “Living to Serve” mission. Students like Pennington complete an online application, take an exam around assigned leadership text, conduct a telephone interview and are a part of a daylong behavioral interview as well. What Does the Ford Leadership Scholars Program Entail?

The Ford Leadership Scholars program provides an extensive development experience for students through a weeklong training seminar, relationship with their mentor, and the exposure they will have to key business and nationally recognized industry leaders. During this time, students complete a year-long community service project to fill a need they see within their city from building greenhouses at their school to jumpstart agriculture education to hosting life skill classes for other teens and young adults. Chosen students also receive a $1,000 academic scholarship to support their education.

The 10 selected students all met the criteria of exemplifying six key characteristics of leadership: action, relationships, vision, character, awareness and continuous improvement. The next class of Ford Leadership Scholars will be chosen in the spring of 2023.

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